TRW Roof Airbag to be implemented from 2014 image

A new ‘bag in roof’ airbag system could replace passenger airbags typically mounted in the instrument panel, says TRW Automotive Holdings, which has just unveiled its new airbag design.

In the twenty or so years since their introduction, airbags have become a standardsafety item on all new cars sold, and there’s no denying that they’ve saved thousands of lives.
The auto supplier said its “bag in roof” will first be launched in an A/B-segment mini-compact car, but that it can’t name the manufacturer “this far out.”
The airbag unit comprises a cushion and a gas generator which supplies the gas to the cushion in the event of an impact. The product offers easy assembly with opportunities for standardization as some of the components are common to all applications.

“Occupant safety systems are becoming increasingly versatile,” Dirk Schultz, engineering director for TRW’s Inflatable Restraint Systems, said in a statement. “With the increasing focus on reducing road fatalities, we need to develop new ways to enhance the protection of occupants–one area of focus is the design and configuration of airbags.”

If, as expected, TRW’s bag in roof airbag system makes its way into vehicles, it will be interesting to see what vehicle interior designers do with the extra freedom in terms of instrument panel design.